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Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Our Center is involved in many projects to help fulfill our mission of bringing about accurate, acceptable, and easily implemented point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted diseases in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings. A selection of our current projects is listed below.
I Want The Kit (IWTK)
Project Leads: Johan Melendez, PhD and Gretchen Armington, MA
The purpose of I Want The Kit (IWTK) is to increase screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis in adolescents and adults who may be at risk. IWTK users order a test kit online, collect samples at home, and mail them to JHU for testing. Results and follow-up instructions are provided to users. The program is free.
Time Motion Study
Project Lead: Lea Widdice, MD
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of our sites for clinical validation, is conducting a time motion study comparing the clinical and laboratory impact of a point-of-care test for trichomoniasis with a non-point-of-care test. They will compare the testing processes, staff time, cost of providing results, and rates of compliance with standard operating procedures.
Emergency Department Clinical Pathways for Suspect Sexually Transmitted Infections
Project Lead: Richard Rothman, MD, PhD
The JHU Emergency Department will develop expedited clinical pathways for female and male patients who present with signs and symptoms which might indicate an STD, via a series of expert consensus meetings. Under each clinical pathway, a set of standard of care laboratory-based STD testing panels will be recommended. Potential point-of-care STD assays that could rapidly diagnose infections or replace laboratory-based testing will be proposed.
COPHAS (Community Pharmacies for Assessing STI Using Point of Care Diagnostics)
Project Leads: Agnes Kiragga, PhD and Annet Onzia
This study is being conducted in community pharmacies in Kampala, Uganda. Women who visit pharmacies seeking emergency contraception as well as individuals seeking STI treatment are being enrolled in the study and tested for STIs and HIV.
Tactical Funding Solicitation
Project Lead: Joany Jackman, PhD
Each year the Center funds up to three proposals from STD point-of-care technology developers. Each award is $50,000 for a limited scope project. The funds are intended to be used “tactically” for a (some) critical experiment(s) which will advance the assay and enable the developer to secure new funding at the levels needed for successful commercialization. In addition to providing funds, the Center’s Technology Development team offers the developers scientific advice and support.
Massive Open Online Course Development
Project Lead: Anne Rompalo, MD
Dr. Rompalo, with participation from many other Center personnel, developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled Point of Care Testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections . This course looks at point of care testing for sexually transmitted infections from the perspective of the clinician, the patient, and the regulatory environment. The course is free and self-paced.
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The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929–1953: Archetypes, inventions and fabrications
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The Definitive History of the Soviet Propaganda Poster
The Soviet Union used propaganda as a vehicle to disseminate communist ideology, promote the goals of the Communist Party and their own world view. After the Russian Revolution in 1918, the transformation of the Russian Empire into a socialist utopia required the retelling of history, the present and the future. Soviet propaganda posters have always kept pace with the times, and their legacy is intertwined with the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.
Types of Propaganda in the USSR
With their stark simplicity and bold colours, propaganda posters reflect the officially approved history as it was experienced by its citizens. But, posters were just one vessel for getting the message out. Propaganda was an accepted part of everyday life in the USSR, and it came in many forms.
Soviet Propaganda in Books
Almost immediately after the Russian Revolution in 1917, the Communist Party brought the publishing industry to heel through the nationalisation of printing presses and publishing houses . The state required books to be approved before they could be published, and censorship ensured that only books which towed the official party line made it to bookstores. Many freethinking Soviet writers and scholars fled to Europe. Those that stayed were banished, imprisoned, and sometimes even executed. During The Great Purge, even works of Lenin were removed from libraries, while “ textbooks were so frequently revised that students often had to do without them.”
Soviet Propaganda in Newspapers
Under Tsarist rule, censorship was widespread. The political newspaper, Pravda, was started on the 5th of May 1912 , the anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. It served as the official mouthpiece of the Bolsheviks, and was closed down by the Tsarist government just two years later after changing its name eight times to avoid censorship laws and police harassment. After the October Revolution , the first law the Soviets passed on assuming power was to close down all newspapers that opposed their cause. All independent press ceased to operate by the following year. Pravda emerged as the leading newspaper in the Soviet Union, and it served as an organ of the CPSU for the next 80 years.
Soviet Propaganda on the Radio
Like the publishing industry, control of the airwaves was handed to the state soon after the Bolshevik Revolution . Radio was considered particularly important given that the majority of the population was illiterate. The illiterate would be excluded from political discussion if the party message was only spread through the written word. Radios were rapidly installed in halls, factories and other communal areas where workers could listen to the latest news and propaganda of the day.
During the Second World War, German Prisoners of War would be brought on the radio to assure their relatives back in Germany they were alive. The Soviet state would broadcast Communist propaganda between broadcasts. Back home, the state would jam the airwaves to prevent citizens from listening to political broadcasts from the BBC, Voice of America and other western programs.
Soviet Propaganda in Architecture, Statues & Mosaics
At the turn of the 20th century, mosaics were only found in churches and ancient history. But, they found an unlikely ally in the new communist state. Mosaics were “ cheap in their materials but luxuriant in their extent ”. They wouldn’t fade and could withstand freezing temperatures in winter.
The walls of factories, schools, and bus stations were a cheap and ubiquitous blank canvas through which propagandist ideas pervaded. Mosaics were as important as any media outlet – maybe even more so – because they took political messages to people where they lived, worked and played. Like mosaics, statues and public buildings were products of their time; windows on the politics of the past. Read more .
Soviet Propaganda in Cinema
Just two years after the Russian Revolution, the world's first state-filmmaking school opened in Moscow. Film was egalitarian. It was for the masses. The state funded the creation of agitki - short educational films for the purpose of generating support for the Russian Revolution . These silent films were used as visual aids to accompany live lectures and speeches. They were broadcast in towns and villages across the USSR. For some Soviet citizens, agitki were the first time they saw moving pictures.
As cinema grew in popularity, agitki were broadcast in newly built theatres and projected on the side of propaganda trains . During the Great Patriotic War, newsreels were displayed in subway stations so even the poor would not be exempt from the reach and sway of propaganda. Censorship was everywhere, and any material that did not toe the official line was either edited, reshot, or shelved. Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein’s historic drama, Ivan the Terrible Part 2 was filmed in the mid 1940s, but was only released more than a decade later after Stalin’s death.
Soviet Propaganda in Posters
In the wake of the 1917 revolution, Russia was in the process of freeing itself from the grasp of the Tsarist autocracy. Many artists voluntarily joined organisations like the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia which sprung up after the revolution. Propaganda posters were a reflection of a modern, industrial society. Art had no place in an artist’s studio, or even in a museum. Instead " the streets shall be our brushes, the squares our palettes ”.
How Soviet Propaganda Posters were Produced
Many artists applied to join the Union of Artists of the USSR, but just a few were accepted. In order for your application to be considered, artists needed to have produced and exhibited artworks, and have a minimum of two recommendations from prominent artists. It was an exclusive club.
In every city, there was an artist cooperative which advertised new projects on a board. Artists created the first sketches in pencil in small format. They were then sent to the local Artist Advisory Board for approval. Once approved, the artist replicated them in colour and at full size, typically A2 or A3. After final approval, they were sent to be printed.
Ideological and film posters were printed on the best printing presses with high-quality paper. Health and safety posters, and other lesser subjects were printed on lower quality paper using pre-revolution printing presses. Posters were designed to be disposable. Most were thrown away when the movie or movement was over. The illustrations were just an aid to communicate a message. They weren’t valued for their artistic merit at the time. The few that survived were peeled off walls or taken from theatre lobbies by collectors. Most of them ended up in basements where water, termites and time destroyed them. Read more .
The Evolution of Soviet Propaganda Posters
Soviet propaganda posters are children of their age, reflecting the politics of their time. Their legacy is intertwined with the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and they can be broken into six distinct phases.
1. Birth of a Communist State (1917-1921)
It was a life and death struggle for the Bolsheviks and their ideology. After the October Revolution, Bolshevik rule was not universally accepted. Russia was in a state of political flux and civil war broke out. The Bolshevik Red Army led by Lenin fought against the loosely allied White Army (backed by the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and Japan), which favoured a monarchy, capitalism and democracy .
The early Soviet propaganda poster was everywhere. More than 3,600 designs were created in just a few years. The aesthetic that emerged was Constructivism. It was defined by asymmetrical composition, a striking departure from before. Artists treated typography as a visual element in and of itself. It communicated, engaged and entertained. Typefaces were readable, but they didn’t just sit on a page. Artists like El Lissitsky would regularly manipulate type and its placement to emphasise a message. Words were kaleidoscopic, with dynamic rhythmic design s and were symbolic machine-age modernity.
2. New Economic Policy (1921-1927)
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil war, t here was a period of recovery and relative freedom. In a surprising turn-around, the state reversed the nationalisation of all industries. New Economic Policy , proposed by Lenin, was an economic system which allowed for a degree of free market - subject to state oversight of-course. Individuals once again were allowed to own small and medium sized businesses.
As the government embraced cinema as the best means of propaganda, young, talented artists like Alexander Rodchenko, the Stenberg brothers, and Semyon Semyonov created dynamic, experimental advertising posters. Papered on street corners, these avant garde Constructivist styled posters had vivid colours and arresting imagery which matched the spirit of famous Soviet films like Battleship Potemkin, In Spring, and In Punishment.
3. Five-Year-Plans (1928-1937)
The industrialisation of the Soviet economy was Stalin’s top priority. By his own admittance, the Soviet Union was “ fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall be crushed.” A modern, industrial USSR would have economic independence from capitalist countries. Industrialisation meant the transformation of the Soviet economy from predominantly agriculture to an industrial one.
The transformation took place in the form of Five-Year-Plans. The state launched thirteen Five-Year-Plans over the next 65 years. Upon commencement of the first plan, millions of citizens worked around the clock to build hundreds of factories, power stations, dams, canals, railways and metro stations. The first posters that were produced to promote the plans were emblematic of the time, jarring photomontages with echoes of Constructivism. As Stalin tightened his grip on the arts in the 1930s, the designs retreated from avant-garde, with Social Realism designs taking their place.
4. The Great Patriotic War (1939 - 1945)
In August 1939, Stalin and Hitler signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , a non-aggression agreement between the two superpowers. Less than two years later, when Hilter broke the pact by invading the USSR in June 1941, artists joined in the fight, in their own way. The state-run Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) commissioned artists to create thousands of propaganda posters designs which were printed by the millions. The posters were designed to encourage patriotism in the Soviet citizen. “ Powerful in message and image , the posters are filled with caustic caricatures of the German invaders and heroic representations of Soviet Union soldiers and supporters of the Soviet regime.”
5. The Cold War (1946-1984)
After the Second World War, Stalin focused on the USSR’s recovery through rigorous economic programs, monumental megaprojects made possible by prisoner labour from Gulags, projecting soft power in the Eastern Bloc satellite states, developing an atomic bomb and exploring new worlds through the Soviet space program . In art, Social Realism was the sole artistic style of the USSR, characterised by a lot of red.
The death of Stalin was quickly followed by the death of Socialist Realism during the Thaw Era. But, art still remained a tool of the state. The new leader of the USSR, Khrushev, focused on consolidating his power, internal economic development and peaceful coexistence with the West. As economic growth faltered during the Era of Stagnation, Leonid Brezhnev and his successors maintained the status quo, while art did the opposite. While their messages were often dreary and sombre, the artworks themselves were vibrant, bright and free from Social Realism.
6. Echoes of a Dying State (1985 - 1991)
Gorbachov’s rule was the swan call of the Soviet Union. The policy of Glasnost ushered in an era of transparency whereby Soviet citizens were able to publicly and openly discuss the shortcomings of the Soviet state. On market reform, the policy of Perestroika aimed to make production more responsive to consumer needs through a decentralised and privatised economy.
But, it was too little, too late. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Artists no longer had to work for the state. Some began holding small exhibitions in their apartments. These exhibitions mainly attracted other artists and relatives. Posters of the period broke from the past, both in their aesthetic and subject matter. Primary themes focus on alcoholism, drug addiction, economic restructuring and disarmament.
Themes of Soviet Propaganda Posters
Depending on their intended purpose, Soviet propaganda posters were designed to evoke emotion, be it heroism, pride or anxiety. A common theme throughout was the depiction of the ideal citizen - ruled by intellectualism and discipline rather than emotion and impulse. Equality and sacrifice were core to the socialist way of life. Below, we give context to a few of the main themes of Soviet propaganda posters.
Soviet Space Propaganda Posters
Space was the dramatic arena for an ideological struggle between Communism and Capitalism. The USSR understood the power of the image and the Space Race was one of the central motifs of Soviet propaganda posters. Cosmonauts like Yuri Gagarin were a common feature in Soviet propaganda posters.
New designs were often released to celebrate anniversaries or new technological breakthroughs. In them, cosmonauts were depicted as explorers of new worlds, looking boldly back at the viewer. Space was the dramatic arena for an ideological struggle between Communism and Capitalism. The most famous Soviet artists like A. Lemeshchenko and V. Viktorov created some of the most famous posters of the era which are potent reminders of the stratospheric ambitions of the Soviet regime. Read more .
Soviet Environment Propaganda Posters
The Soviet Union was proactive about environmental protection. In the 1890s, ‘Zapovednik’ – essentially nature sanctuaries – had been established across the USSR. Intended to be kept ‘forever wild’, access by the public was restricted in order to protect sites of particular natural or cultural heritage.
But despite this promising approach to public policy, the USSR still saw one of the worst ecological disasters of the 20th century. In the 1960’s, prisoners and volunteers diverted water from the The Aral Sea, the fourth largest lake in the world, to build over 20,000 miles of irrigation canals. By 2007, it had shrunk to 10% of its original size. These vibrant colourful posters reflect the spirit of openness in acknowledging the problem, while doing little to address the cause. Read more .
Soviet Health Propaganda Posters
In the USSR, healthcare was especially important. The population needed to be strong, healthy and productive. Armies of people were needed to work on farms and produce machinery so that the Socialist utopia could be realised.
The Soviets led the world when it came to healthcare. Shortly after the 1917 revolution, the new ruling Communist party created a fully public centralised healthcare system. It was the first in the world. Over the next two years, the USSR Ministry of Health published more than 13 million pieces of public health literature . Bright colours and striking graphics were a common theme of healthcare posters which were developed in the hopes of communicating to an often illiterate population. Read more .
Soviet Youth Propaganda Posters
Tying a red handkerchief around your neck was a source of pride in the USSR. On public holidays, millions of Soviet children would march down wide avenues in sprawling parades, singing patriotic songs and saluting banners of Lenin. Young Pioneers were the Soviet answer to the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, but they were much more political.
Membership was voluntary. But it was considered a rite of passage by parents and children alike. Millions of children would spend months learning anthems and bylaws by heart before attending a solemn oath swearing ceremony at their regional Pioneers Palace. With striking colours and simple slogans, posters show Young Pioneers raising animals, protecting the environment, and helping the elderly. Read more .
Soviet War & Peace Propaganda Posters
The USSR and the USA both considered the other to be the aggressor. During the Second War War, Soviet artists created thousands of poster designs, while millions of which were reproduced and added into circulation. After the great patriotic war, the Soviet Union sponsored peace movements including the World Peace Council, the World Federation of Trade Unions , the World Federation of Democratic Youth , the International Union of Students , Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation, Christian Peace Conference , and Women's International Democratic Federation.
Soviet artists regularly created posters that advocated for the peaceful exploration of outer space or peace to the children of the world. With their stark simplicity and bold colours, peace propaganda posters were a part of the texture of everyday life in the Soviet Union, and reflect the official Soviet position as the peaceful superpower. Read more .
Soviet Theatre Posters
Theatre was controlled by the state in the USSR. It wasn’t just entertainment, it was an education. Theatre was used to teach the audience to think and read between the lines. The characters portrayed were common Soviet citizens, while the ideas conveyed were based on honesty, modesty, and the common good. Posters which advertised plays and theatre productions are often characterised by bright colours and hidden symbolism.
Soviet Women Propaganda Posters
The USSR was the first country in the world to give women the same marital rights as their husbands. Women played a significant and extraordinary role in the USSR. They were expected to not only fulfil their domestic duties but also to take up arms, respond to the needs of the nation and defend their homeland.
Women were encouraged to have as many children as possible, and ‘mother-heroines’ received medals if they had ten or more children . They were celebrated as equals in Soviet art, working alongside men in the fields and factories. Propaganda posters served a powerful purpose in engaging and encouraging women to work towards the Socialist utopia. Read more .
Soviet Safety Propaganda Posters
Industrialisation of the Soviet economy was one of Stalin’s top priorities. A modern, industrial USSR would have economic independence from capitalist countries. But, machines, electricity, hot iron, and sharp tools were a major threat for the new era workers. Poor safety standards and a largely illiterate population meant workplace accidents were commonplace.
The state commissioned artists to create visual and often violent safety posters for the walls of factories. Bright colours and striking graphics were a common theme of the posters which were developed in the hopes of communicating to an often illiterate population. Safety posters advised workers to wear safety glasses, not to touch live wires, and to avoid putting fingers in front of blades. Read more .
Soviet Sport Propaganda Posters
The 1980 Moscow Olympics were a chance for the Soviet Union to outshine their Cold War rival. Just a few months earlier, the U.S had hosted the Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union ice hockey team was heavily favoured to win gold again. Instead the U.S beat them in a stunning 4-3 upset. The USSR was humiliated. The stage was set for a rematch.
Moscow was beautified in preparation for the Games. Streets were repaved, buildings repainted and stores were stocked with international goods. A major international poster design competition was held to promote the games. Artists from 45 countries submitted more than 5,000 designs. The winning designs had bold colours, smiling athletes and powerful slogans. Read more .
Soviet Utopia Propaganda Posters
Soviet art traded exclusively in the imagery of an imagined future. Vibrant posters with messages of hope, unity and friendship provided encouragement to the everyday worker. Soviet artists had unabridged creative freedom as long as the future was bright.
Soviet Tourism & Travel Advertising Posters
In 1929, Intourist was founded . It was the first travel company in the USSR. Intourist comes from the Russian words for foreign tourist, inostrannyj turist . Like its name, its purpose was to attract inbound tourism. It held a monopoly on tourism. A decade later, more than 10 million foreign tourists had visited the Soviet Union, and all of them had booked flights, accommodation, transportation and excursions through Intourist.
Intourist advertising was organised by the All-Union Chamber of Commerce . Soviet designers were allowed to study poster designs from the west as Soviet styled propaganda wasn’t designed to attract foreign visitors as much as it was to inspire Soviet citizens to work harder. Competitions were held to find winning designs. Art Deco was the prevailing style of posters of the day, as they portrayed the Soviet Union as a glamorous and mysterious country to visit. Soviet Intourist advertising posters that were not known to the majority of Soviet citizens, as they were only displayed in foreign tourist offices or published as advertisements in American magazines. Bright, bold and elegant, the merging of Soviet art with the new influences of Art Deco, gave birth to a series of striking posters which presented the joys of travelling in the USSR - the first socialist country in the world. Read more
Soviet Circus/Cyrk Posters
The circus was the peoples’ entertainment. In the USSR, the circus came to symbolise something more than just a fun family day out. Unlike the ballet (Russia’s other great cultural export), the circus was accessible. It was the art form of the proletariat, costing only a few dollars for a ticket. It was Communist.
Throughout the 70s and 80s, ‘The Moscow Circus’ – a loose collection of acts from across the USSR – rose to international attention. It became an emblem of the Soviet state and was used to covertly communicate the Communist ideology to audiences both at home and abroad. CYRK posters do the same thing – but not in the ways we might expect. Visually surreal and thematically subversive, their bright colours belie a darker take on life under Soviet rule. Read more .
Soviet Anti-Religious Propaganda Posters
After the Bolsheviks Revolution, the official ideology of the Soviet state. The Bolsheviks nationalised church lands and made the registration of births, deaths, and marriages secular. The Decree on Separation of Church from State and School came into force in early 1918 . It forbade religion from being taught in schools and removed the church’s status as a legal entity.
Religion was deeply ingrained in Russian society. So, the state used education to turn children against their religious families. “ One of the most important tasks of the proletarian state is to liberate children from the reactionary influence of their parents…we must see to it that the school assumes the offensive against religious propaganda in the home, so that from the very outset the children’s minds shall be rendered immune to all those religious fairy tales which many grown-ups continue to regard as truth.” While the separation decree also proclaimed the freedom of religion, the resulting Soviet propaganda posters of the day promoted radical secularism and an almost persecutory anti-religious agenda.
Soviet Lenin & Stalin Propaganda Posters
In the early 1920s, most Soviet propaganda posters showed Lenin and Stalin together. This was deliberate. Stalin weaponised his relationship with Lenin, despite Lenin recommending that he be removed from his position as the Communist Party’s secretary general. After Lenin’s death, the two figures eventually merged, and Stalin became the living embodiment of the famous revolutionary.
Stalin 's cult of personality was a prominent feature in Soviet popular culture , press, and television. Soviet press and artists presented Stalin as an all-powerful , all-knowing leader - the father of the Soviet people and a genius military strategist. Socialist Realism was the sole artistic style of the period, and there was little experimentation or variation. Posters of Lenin and Stalin were usually red, highly idealised and devoid of complex artistic meaning or interpretation.
Soviet Brotherhood & Fraternity Propaganda Posters
Maintaining a friendly and productive relationship between Moscow and other Communist countries was seen as crucial for the survival and advancement of socialism. While Men locking lips in public is a rare site today, it was once a gesture that symbolised the height of fraternal friendship. The socialist fraternal kiss was a special form of greeting between the leaders of Communist countries. The act demonstrated the special connection that exists between socialist countries, consisting of an embrace and a mutual kiss to the cheeks or in rarer cases to the mouth.
Propaganda posters were an integral part of attesting to the world the close relationship between the Soviet Union and its friends. Posters often showed leaders and workers alike walking hand-in-hand, kissing, hugging and clutching each other. Read more .
Soviet Worker Propaganda Posters
International Workers' Day was a celebration of labourers and the working classes. May 1st was a major event in the USSR with military parades attended by the president in the capital city of Socialist countries. “ Every city, town and village had compulsory workers parades, complete with balloons, flowers, flags, banners.”
The Communist sickle and hammer are commonplace in worker propaganda posters. Posters often showed workers celebrating milestones in productivity, advancements in their industry or holding banners which declared their alliance to socialism and the state..
The Spread of Soviet Propaganda Beyond the USSR
The leaders of the USSR knew that the Soviet Union had no future unless Communism continued to spread across the world. To that end, they alloca ted an estimated yearly propaganda abroad budget of $3.5 and $4 billion , which they put to use in influencing socialist-leaning countries through political and ideological mechanisms. In what was considered a highly successful campaign, the USSR spent more than $1 billion creating propaganda and supporting the formation of peace movements during the Vietnam War . The KGB funded peace congresses, youth festivals, women's movements and trade union movements around the world. It also started and spread rumours that AIDS was created by a US research centre, and that the CIA was involved in JFK’s assassination.
Propaganda after the Fall of the USSR
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, propaganda languished. A decade later as the world welcomed in a new millennium, a new leader emerged. Vladimir Putin saw the Soviet Union as the peak of Russian power and influence, and has sought to rebuild the empire of a bygone era through propaganda and fear.
Putin quickly put the nation's television and radio channels under the control of the state. He used the media to align himself in image and ideology to admired leaders like Stalin and Lenin. He is portrayed by the media as a hyper-masculine, decisive and patriotic leader, and is often photographed riding horses topless, leading endangered cranes on migration route in a hang glider, working out, or scuba diving and discovering an ancient greek urn . Like Stalin and Lenin, Putin plays the role of a strict but caring father figure to Russians.
Today, Putin’s popularity cult is also tied to the idea of rebuilding the Russian empire to the heights of its former glory. Putin uses this nostalgia to justify ongoing confrontations with the west, and more recently a war. Leaning on the memory of the Soviet Union's struggle against Nazism during WWII, Putin expertly uses propaganda to rally Russians around his unjustified and inhumane invasion of Ukraine.
We stand on the right side of history, beside our comrades in Kyiv. But we go beyond lip-service. We've also put our money where our morals are. In 2021, Comrade Kyiv gave £1,439.80 to Human Rights Watch, an independent, non-profit NGO that exists to give voice to the oppressed and promote freedom and equality everywhere. Read more .
Soviet propaganda posters are undervalued. here's why.
Thirty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, its legacy lives on through propaganda posters. These posters are more than just propaganda; they reflect the cultural narrative and values of the Soviet era, providing a glimpse into the Soviet mindset. Despite their creativity and historical significance, these posters are often undervalued when compared to Western posters from the same time period. Here’s why that’s so.
Decoding the Most Common Symbols Found in Soviet Propaganda
Symbols are a powerful cultural language, used to convey complex ideas with simplicity and elegance. Soviet artists were masters of this language, using symbols in their art to create powerful and evocative images that could be understood at first glance. Their art was not only aesthetically pleasing, but also emotionally resonant, striking a chord with audiences and leaving a lasting impression.
Where to Buy Original Soviet Art
Soviet art tells the stories of humanity. Russian artist, Kandinsky, said that “each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated.” Through art, it becomes possible to chart the events that shaped and defined the USSR - from the Boshivak revolution, to the rise of Stalin, and finally the fall of the USSR. The bold colours of Soviet propaganda posters along with their increasing rarity, make them a sought-after collectors item.
Intourist Travel Posters - How the USSR Used Propaganda to Drive Tourism
Intourist held a monopoly on tourism in the USSR. As the only tourism agency in the Soviet Union, Intourist was responsible for attracting and accommodating all tourists. Like every other industry or ideal in the USSR, Intourist used propaganda to advance its agenda. Posters targeted western audiences. They portrayed the Soviet Union as a glamorous and exotic land rather than a country of labourers and peasants.
Vintage Soviet Propaganda Posters From The Era Of Stalin And World War II
Whether encouraging obedience or discouraging loose talk, these soviet propaganda posters are masterpieces of manipulation..
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Modern Soviet propaganda first appeared during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Used to promote the revolution and engender optimism for the new society, this propaganda also sought to attack opponents of Vladimir Lenin’s government, including the ruling class, landowning peasants, and anyone espousing competing communist ideologies.
At the time, very few newspapers were published and therefore propagandistic posters served as a primary means of communication. During the revolution, posters were sent to the front lines of communist opposition cities with the warning that “anyone who tears down or covers up this poster is committing a counter-revolutionary act”.
After the revolution, posters were commissioned from some of the biggest artists in the Soviet Union and encompassed many different revolutionary aesthetics in order to promote communist values related to hard work, fairness, and education.
With Joseph Stalin in charge by the late 1920s, Soviet propaganda began to focus more on political discipline and ambitious government programs, particularly the collectivization of land and establishment of industry.
In service of these aims, the government produced countless dynamic, somewhat abstract posters featuring bright colors and distinct shapes. However, this aesthetic was later replaced with one featuring more lifelike images. And always present were core communist symbols like the red star as well as the hammer and sickle.
With the onset of World War II, Soviet propaganda took on a new importance in rallying national support for the war effort and convincing eligible people to enlist.
Wartime aside, Soviet propaganda became a defining aspect of the nation's very culture, spreading the aesthetics, values, and lessons of the Soviet ideology throughout the nation and beyond.
Next, for more Russian propaganda posters, check out this gallery of Soviet posters from the Cold War . Then, check out these World War I posters that inspired much of modern propaganda.
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Russia, c. 1943
32 x 25 in (81 x 64 cm), id #lb40x30foreigntable-z-147.
Vintage Russian propaganda poster showing Stalin standing before an adoring crowd.
"ЛЮБИМЫЙ СТАЛИН-СЧАСТЬЕ НАРОДНОЕ." (Favorite Stalin-People's Happiness.)
Year: c. 1943
Condition: Good, please note creases because the poster was folded before linen-backing
Poster is linen-backed on canvas
500-1000 art crowd film film poster flags joseph stalin movie movie poster original poster original posters political propaganda rally russian political russian poster size-32x25 soviet union speech stalin vintage vintage posters
More from $500 to $1,000
West Side Story Italian Film Poster ✓
Italy, 1962, 39 x 55 in 99 x 140 (cm).
Montmorency Poster ✓
France, 1935, 32 x 24 in 81 x 61 (cm).
Troyes France Poster ✓
France, c. 1930, 39 x 25 in 99 x 64 (cm).
Toul France Poster ✓
Deauville Concours Hippique Poster ✓
France, 1948, 39 x 26 in 99 x 66 (cm), philip williams posters, popular categories, popular searches, popular artists, find us on....
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Soviet posters first appeared during the Proletarian Revolution in Russia - they delivered Communist Party's slogans to the masses and called on workers and peasants to fight for freedom and justice.
The most outstanding among the first revolutionary posters are the works of D.S. Moor , V.V. Mayakovsky , M.M. Cheremnykh and V.N. Deni . Each of these artists used unique methods and techniques in order to create emphatic art with powerful propaganda messages.
When the "great edifice of Socialism" was being erected through the first series of Five-Year Plans, propaganda posters could be found everywhere in the USSR - they were posted on construction sites, collective farm fields, grain elevator towers and massive concrete walls of the DneproGes dam. A look back at the posters from that era creates a chronicled timeline of Soviet Union's creation and evolution. Each and every major event in the life of the Soviet people is reflected in the legacy of socialist agitprop.
Over the period of WWII artists created thousands of posters, millions of which were reproduced and launched into circulation. Just like during the Civil War "Okna ROSTA" (renamed "Okna TASS" after the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union") played a very important role in motivating the nation.
The distinctive style of the Soviet poster art was coined during times of war and struggle. It was always laconic, expressive and straight-forward. Even from faraway it was recognized by a person walking at a fast pace. The poster usually featured one or two figures whose actions were underlined by a characteristic movement. Clear contrast of the central figures (group) compared with the rest of the objects in the composition distinguished the best works. Eventually the artists started paying more attention to the human nature, and learned how to convey personality and emotions through facial expressions of their characters - thus making the posters more vigorous and effective.
With the end of WWII, world peace and friendship among nations became the main theme of the propaganda poster. Young artists like N. Treschenko, O. Savostyuk and B. Uspensky, along with such distinguished masters of the poster art as Victor Govorkov, generated interesting and witty compositions agitating for USSR as the force of peace in the world.
In the post-war period, the Soviet movie industry achieved considerable success. Famous movie-poster artists, such as V. Kononov, M. Heifitz, B. Zelensky and I. Hazanovsky refused to simply "announce" the movie releases in their work. Instead they explored artistic expression in order to reveal the film's content and essence through printed images. Works of these artists won numerous awards at international competitions.
The grandiose 7-year program for the development of USSR's national economy, declared at the 21 st Communist Party Congress, required renewed efforts from the propaganda establishment and especially the poster artists. Once again, colorful and visually engaging posters motivated the enthusiasm of working masses to carry out the Party's plan in the newly established agricultural communities and on sites of glorified construction projects.
Soviet posters have always kept pace with the times. They created images of role models for generations of Soviet workers and soldiers, exposed international warmongers and fought for world peace.
A revolutionary gift idea: your portrait digitally painted like a soviet propaganda poster
Based on a photograph provided by you and a poster of your choice, our artist renders you as a communist hero.
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- Series 1: Propaganda Posters, 1929-1931
Soviet Propaganda Posters Collection, 1929-1931
The Russian Revolution gave birth to the modern political poster. Previously posters served political and commercial purposes throughout the world, but the Russian Revolution expanded and transformed this pre-existing medium in scope, volume, and content. The Bolsheviks, the official name of the Russian Communists before 1918, embraced the poster both by making a virtue of necessity-the need to communicate effectively with a population still largely illiterate-as well as a so-called invented tradition-the inculcation of new values and norms by suggesting some direct continuity with the past. To these ends, the Bolsheviks took the art of persuasion in a new and different direction: to convince citizens to accept in the present the values society they hoped to create in the future.
The Bolshevik propaganda poster directly addressed the necessity to communicate graphically with a population plagued by illiteracy. Literacy figures for 1917 do not exist, but a generation earlier the tsarist Imperial Government listed 83 percent of the rural population and 55 percent of the urban dwellers as illiterate. Upon coming to power the Bolsheviks launched a massive literacy campaign whose results can be read in different ways. By 1920, the revolutionary state classified about 38 percent of the rural population and 74 percent of the urban population as literate, but those reporting the results, who were under pressure to show positive gains, used non-uniform and unreliable methods to measure improvement. In some cases, the ability to sign one's name qualified a person as "literate." Others received this distinction with nothing more than a rudimentary command of the mechanics of reading and writing. The fact that promoting literacy remained a dominant theme in Soviet propaganda posters in the 1920-1930s testifies that the revolutionary regime considered the problem far from solved even after more than a decade in power. To complicate further the task of effective mass communication, shortages of paper limited the press runs of all newspapers and books throughout the early years of Bolshevik rule, thus mandating a search for alternatives even to address the legitimately literate.
As they turned to visual propaganda to reach an intended audience poorly equipped to comprehend complex written materials, the Bolsheviks actively sought new technology and formats. In addition to poster art, the revolutionary state embraced silent film. Party leader Vladimir Lenin called cinema "the most important of the arts" in 1919, and in the 1920s pioneering directors such as Sergei Eisenstein, Alexander Dovzhenko, Vsevelod Pudovkin, and Dziga Vertov introduced innovations in composition, editing, conceptualization, technology, and camera angles that still attract praise from film historians. Moreover, the very ability of the revolutionaries to deliver what was then still a novel technology-moving pictures premiered in France in 1895-to an uninitiated audience lent legitimacy to a regime still striving to win the hearts and minds of the population. Beyond this, the inter-titles of silent film could carry didactic content, thereby enabling producers to mix medium with message.
The revolutionaries also took pains to cast their new messages in forms meant to evoke traditions and formats already familiar to the illiterate and partially literate, and the poster surpassed even the Party's daily national newspapers in its ability to reach a potential audience. Inthe second half nineteenth century, when the marketing of printed materials to general readers expanded exponentially in Russia, publishers did not neglect the illiterate and partially literate consumer. They especially promoted picture books with straightforward illustrations above simple captions, called a lubok in Russia and a chapbook in the West. The commercially successful lubok thus provided the model for the propaganda poster, to which the post-revolutionary audience related easily. Ironically, the importance of iconography in the Russian Orthodox Church provided an additional familiar touchstone that undoubtedly underscored the appeal of visual propaganda in the antireligious Soviet state.
Bolshevik dependence on poster art began even before the Party came to power, and the Communists developed this medium to a level previously unprecedented globally. Posters played a central role for all political parties during the critical revolutionary months between February and October 1917, and by 1921-the ruinous Russian Civil War of 1918-1920 notwithstanding-the Bolsheviks had produced more than 4000 different images. In 1919 the Russian Telegraph Agency, ROSTA, assumed general responsibility for information, agitation, and the press in the entire country, and in its role as central organ of agitation ROSTA initially became the main source of poster art. A distinctly Bolshevik propaganda poster style, called "ROSTA windows,"took shape, and by 1922 some 1600 different windows, with a total press run of 237000, appeared. Once the State Publishing House, Gosizdat, and its literary subsidiary, Litizdat, also began poster production, totals soared further. In 1920 alone, Gosizdat produced 3.2 million copies of its seventy-five posters. And although they were the main producers, these three did not monopolize the process. Other agencies independently entered the field, so that as early as 1920 Gosizdat reported that it was "impossible not to notice the extraordinary flood of posters, put out by the most varied of institutions."
Note: Produced in 1930, this poster sold for 60 kopecks in a press run of 20,000. It was published by the Artistic Press of the Association of Artists of the Revolution [AXP] Society, a diverse group of artists that existed from 1928 to 1933 and receives credit for formulating the basis of the style to be known as Socialist Realism. Although many works in the artistic and literary community conformed voluntarily to the tenets of Soviet propaganda in the 1920s (Fedor Gladkov's 1926 work Cement is renowned as "the first proletarian novel"), the term Socialist Realism was not coined publicly by a Soviet official until May 1932. Later that year at a gathering of writers in the home of Maxim Gorky, Joseph Stalin described Socialist Realism as truthful representation in the arts, although in his view truth could only show the Soviet Union moving toward revolutionary socialism. Writers spent the next two years amplifying and refining Stalin's basic tenets, and when the first congress of the newly formed Union of Soviet Writers met in August 1934 Socialist Realism became official state policy-the only acceptable approach in all creative arts.
This poster depends far more on the elaborate art work than the cryptic caption to deliver its message, which is painted in a style that would suggest a connection to the old world and to the pre-1918 Russian alphabet. With an almost fairy tale quality to the representation, the poster simply accuses religious leaders of greed and avarice.
Note: This is a simple and standard salvo in the battle against alcohol--one the state was losing. The Russian Imperial Government had imposed a prohibition during World War I, but the revolution brought with it the widespread looting of the liquor reserves. The Soviet revolutionary government tried to revive the wartime prohibition in 1917, but even its Red Guards and workers= militias could not resist the temptation to drink. Inthese times of grain shortage, the state wanted the population to eat rather than drink existing supplies in the form of grain alcohol, but the illegal distillation of samogon (bootleg liquor) became a major enterprise that whole villages pursued as a cottage industry, despite harsh penalties for doing so.
The revolutionary regime passed draconian decrees against the distillation, sale, and consumption of samogon that it was virtually powerless to enforce. Rural moonshiners brought their wares to urban markets like any other agricultural product, and urban distillers sold from their homes. Distillers easily bribed the police sent to arrest them, often with samogon itself. The fact that the technology involved was not complex exacerbated matters, and some Party officials began wistfully to remember the state's pre-1913 liquor revenues. Inlate 1925, the Soviet state once again began producing vodka, without apparently diminishing the illegal homebrew industry. Needless to say, this did not produce an alcohol-free revolutionary society, but rather placed the revolutionary regime in the position of producing vodka for revenue purposes and opposing its consumption out of a concern for social welfare. Posters such as this testify to the ongoing-and seemingly futile-character of the battle.
This straightforward promotion of hygiene graphically depicts three sanitary processes: the benefits of fresh air, cleanliness through sweeping, and especially a detailed demonstration of the proper way to wash hands. Across the top: "Working Through General Participation in Carrying Out of the Sanitary Minimum [A Soviet expression used to define minimum standards in fields like hygiene, allotted living space, and public health]"
"We Will Reduce the Fulfillment of the Five Year Plan to Four Years" "Carry Out the Sanitary Minimum"
"In personal life / in living quarters /on the street / in enterprises / in local social encounters."
“We Will Restructure the Village in Atheist Socialist Harmony” reads the inscription across the top.
The slogan in the upper left quadrant, on the grounds of a former religious institution, reads:
“We Will Transform the Monastery
Into a Commune of the Poor.”
In the center of the background is the “Atheist Club,” and to its right is the “Labor School.”
In the upper center the slogan reads:
“The Tractor Leads Us on
the Road to Collectivization.”
Beneath the slogan on the former church is “Agricultural Machinery Warehouse.”
The slogan in the upper right quadrant, in a workers club that is an agitational center and reading room, reads:
“We Will Convert the Center of the Drug [a common reference to religion in antireligious propaganda]
Into a Cultural Center.”
On the wall is the slogan “Atheists, Build the Collective Farms.”
To its right hangs the slogan “Down with Sectarians and Priests.”
In the lower left quadrant, as the uninitiated witness a scientific demonstration, the slogan reads:
“Do Not Learn from the Bible, but Learn
at the Experimental Station [Laboratory].”
In the lower center the slogan reads:
“The Proletarian Town Will Help
The Atheist Village.”
The building in the left background is labeled “Nursery School.”
The building in the center of the background is labeled “Commune.”
In the lower right section, workers tour an electrical generator plant, and the slogan reads:
“Down with the Realm of the Prophet,
Long Live Electrification.”
Note: No element of the Russian Revolution suffers more frequently from misunderstanding than the Soviet assault on religion. Common misperceptions posit that immediately upon taking power the Bolsheviks closed all churches, executed clergy, and made individual worship illegal. In actuality, during the Russian Civil War and thereafter zealots did indeed close local churches, and there were instances in which priests who lost their lives. Monasteries and church property were confiscated and sacred objects defiled, including the opening of crypts of interred saints. But while the revolutionary regime made clear from the outset its intention to rid Russia of religion, the tactics of the Party leadership often differed from those of uncontrolled local activists, and it never outlawed personal belief.
In practice, revolutionary leaders frequently found themselves reining in “excesses” in antireligious work by local atheist zealots, while simultaneously promoting secularism with a combination of propaganda and repression. Thus, the Communist Party pursued atheism as its official position but also recognized pragmatically that overt attacks on religion, especially on the Russian Orthodox Church, did more to galvanize opposition among the rank-and-file than to win their hearts and minds. In schools and general propaganda, antireligious campaigns initially relied on a nonreligious (promoting science and rationalism to wean believers reflexively away from religion) rather than an antireligious (direct action against religious institutions) strategy.
Party leaders faced myriad problems. Religious belief persisted in Party ranks despite official prohibitions, and the League of the Godless (later the League of the Militant Godless) began operations only in 1925. From then until the Party disbanded it in 1944, the League drew continual criticism for its lack of effectiveness. Despite the regime’s overt public repudiation of religious institutions, Party documents show antireligious work to have been chronically underfunded, carried out by comrades considered less than the most talented, and frequently neglected by regional and local Party organs in favor of what were considered more pressing tasks.
This is not to deny the extensive attacks on religious institutions that did occur. The revolutionary state never lost sight of its goal of general atheism, and pressure was relentless. In 1922-1923, the Soviet state carried out an orchestrated confiscation of church valuables, and during the collectivization of agriculture that began in 1929 churches and priests were special targets, as was the seizure of church bells. And the Soviets never abandoned the goal of closing the maximum number of churches with the least possible social disruption.
Nothing justifies the violence against religion that took place, but we must recognize that the Soviet state depended just as heavily on propaganda to achieve its antireligious goals. And because antireligious work was a low priority in practice, such propaganda succeeded best when integrated with other objectives. This poster illustrates that principle well, as it links the elimination of religion to other revolutionary aims: creating a better material life through technology and science, alleviating poverty, providing nurseries for small children, establishing workers’ clubs, promoting the mechanization of agriculture, achieving the electrification of the country, and creating collectives.
Note: This poster advocates fulfilling the First Five Year Plan for industry (1928-1932) in four years, a prevailing slogan during the period. The First Five Year Plan (subtracting 1928 from 1932), however, was not a “five year plan” at all, and the starting date was actually projected backwards from when the plan functionally went into effect in 1929. In a large sense, it also was not a “plan” in any rational economic sense. It set unrealistically high goals and quotas for each branch of the economy that the developed industrial economies of the West would have strained to meet, but were impossible for the ravaged economy of the USSR. In reality, this was a mobilization campaign based loosely on the idea that pursuing unattainable levels would ensure maximum effort from all. Opposition from religion and fascism were also stock elements of this propaganda.
The artist Deni [Viktor N. Deni] signed at the lower right. Deni (real name Denisov) emerged as a prodigy of poster art in the early years of the Revolution, and he produced as steadily as his health permitted thereafter. By 1930s, however, some of his work was criticized for being insufficiently agitational, that is, more concerned with aesthetics than didacticism and the mobilization of opinion.
Note: Printed by the Art Department of the State Publishing House, IZOGIZ, in 1930 in 30,000 copies, this poster addresses one of the major concerns of the revolutionary state during the 1920s-1930s: illiteracy. While much of the focus during the 1920s was on adult illiteracy, the state made clear from the outset that it placed great hope in children and adolescents to create the revolutionary future (as older citizens who could not be converted inevitably would die). In this straightforward poster, three young boys [the child on the viewer’s right carries an ABC book] enthusiastically and purposefully walk toward school, beckoning a fourth to join them. He, however, cannot, since his mother—generally regarded in Soviet propaganda as carriers of culture with immense influence in shaping their offspring—holds him back. Hence, although ostensibly promoting child literacy, the target of the poster is above all recalcitrant parents.
The allusion to cities and fields as foundations of life reflects the radical experimental pedagogy of the period, which eliminated the study of distinct disciplines in elementary schools and integrated practical experience outside the classroom or in labor. Joseph Stalin would restore traditional methods and standards in the 1930s.
The word for “ignoramus” used here is actually a diminutive of the man’s name Mitrofan. The name became a synonym for “ignoramus” or “person of little education” in reference to the character Mitrofan in Denis Fonvizin’s 1781 play The Minor, sometimes translated as The Young Oaf.
Translation, beginning lower right quadrant: “Farm Collective, Learn How to Struggle with Infectious Diseases, Organize Readings [and] Discussions of Sanitary Issues, Drawing the Attention of the Local Doctor, Midwife, [or] Female or Male Nurse to This Business.
Establish Sanitary Corners [that is, exhibits for dispensing information] in Clubs [and] Reading Rooms, Having Supplied Them with Easy to Understand Books on Infectious Diseases [and] Obtaining Available Sanitary Film-Reels, Etc.
There does not have to be even one person fall ill with smallpox in the collective farm. See to it that all babies older than three months are given a preventive inoculation. Adults also need to be inoculated for smallpox every five years.
Scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhus, bloody diarrhea—are dangerous infectious diseases which are easily transmitted by surroundings. All these illnesses result in a fever for the ill person.
Transfer each person taken ill with an elevated temperature immediately to a separate isolation ward room. Such an ill person must remain in the isolation ward until he is sent to a hospital.
The place where the infected person was found must be thoroughly cleaned with hot water and soap or lye.”
Translation: “ It Is Not True That Alcohol Nourishes, Warms, [and] Strengthens the Power of the Muscle.”
“Comparative Strengthening Qualities Of Foods:
Butter 100; Meat 55; Sugar 48; Bread 36; Potatoes 13; Vodka 0.
It is true that alcohol increases professional illnesses and poisoning, accidents and absenteeism, [and] diminishes labor productivity.
The number of accidents per 1000 people that involve loss of work time
Up to 4 weeks: Of all insured workers, 82; among alcoholics, 969.
More than 4 weeks: Of all insured workers, 15; among alcoholics, 53.
Alcohol is the Enemy of Healthy Labor”
This poster shows an alcoholic passed out on a bed with an empty bottle nearby. His barefoot wife washes laundry by hand while their infant child plays on the floor in the foreground. The didactic message reads:
“Stop! See for Yourself Whether This is a Good Picture—Alcohol—A Terrible Boggy Slime.
Grief, Illness, Sorrow and Need Always Follow Vodka.”
“Proletariat of the West[,] To the Scaffolding of the Socialist Construction in the USSR”
With a “5 in 4” banner in the background (a reference to the slogan of fulfilling the First Five Year Plan for industry of 1928-1932 in four years), a Western worker (as evident by his bag marked “Instrument” in English) is welcomed to a Soviet construction site by a comrade. The banner above the Soviet worker reads:
“For Sotscompetition [Socialist Competition]
For a Shock Work Tempo!”
At left is a befuddled bourgeois capitalist amid the symbols of Western decadence. He wears a swastika cuff link and carries an S-D [Social-Democrat (moderate Marxist)] declaration that reads: “The Horrible Atrocities of the Bolsheviks!”
Across the bottom reads: “The Proletariat of the West and America Come to the USSR to Participate in the Building of Socialism.”
The message for Soviet consumption reads: “The task for the workers of our countries is to adopt their production experience and technical knowledge, their tempos of work, their [poster torn; word missing] to operate machines.
Having [poster torn; word missing] leading technology with the support of the international proletariat
we will transform our country from a backward agrarian one into a vanguard industrial one; not only
learning but also surpassing the capitalist countries in the shortest possible time, [and] we will build socialism!
Note: This was produced by the Art Department of the State Publishing House, IZOGIZ, but other production information is covered. Generations of interested Americans have read John Scott’s Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel, first published in 1941 and still in print today. Scott, a dropout from the University of Wisconsin, emigrated to the Soviet Union during the Great Depression, when jobs in America were scarce and the USSR still offered the prospect of building a new world. In 1933, armed mainly with skills acquired in a single General Electric technical course, he went to work on the construction of Magnitogorsk, intended to be the largest steel mill in the world adjacent to a rationally planned model socialist city. There Scott married a Russian woman, enjoyed the (scant) privileges of a foreign technician, learned passable Russian, and in 1938 reluctantly departed when the onset of Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror placed foreigners in jeopardy. Even so, Scott continued to support the Soviet Union’s relentless program of rapid industrialization that placed heavy industry above human needs and costs. The end of defeating Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War, as the Russians call World War II, justified the means in Scott’s view. Less well known is the fact that Scott’s experience was far from unique. Motivated either by ideological sympathies, a desperate search for employment, or some combination of the two, large numbers of workers from the industrial West made their way to the USSR in the 1930s. No two stories, of course, replicate one another exactly, but Scott’s compelling account of his five years at Magnitogorsk offer penetrating insight into the experience of this legion of foreigners in Russia and, indeed, into the building of industrial socialism itself.
This poster encourages Soviet workers to welcome their Western comrades. Following some generic messages promoting socialism and industrialization in the top half of the poster, the real message to the Soviet work force appears at the bottom. Western workers possess both technical knowledge and labor discipline, which the Soviets not only need to use but to emulate. The poster characterizes Soviet Russia as economically backward, but it also promises rapid transformation and the construction of socialism if workers utilize Western technology and labor.
This upper right hand corner of this poster advocates fulfilling the First Five Year Plan for industry (1928-1932) in four years, the most predominant exhortation in posters focusing on the plan. On the left are the various opponents to progress and the plan: clergy with a cross; a capitalist in top hat; a Jew in night shirt and sleeping cap bearing the daily Yiddish newspaper, “Forverts;” a well-dressed counter-revolutionary carrying the “Menshevik Herald,” a newspaper of the less radical Menshevik Marxists who opposed the course the Bolshevik/Communist revolution followed; and a general hand at the bottom promoting forged documents
A benign and young Stalin observes them from the right side of the poster with reserved confidence and determination. The quotation in the lower right quadrant reads:
“With the banner of Lenin we prevailed in the battles for the October Revolution.
With the banner of Lenin we secured decisive successes in the struggle for the victory of the building socialism.
With this very banner the proletarian revolution will emerge victorious in the whole world.”
(Stalin. Political Report of the C[entral[ C[ommittee] of the XVI Congress of the VKP(b) [All-Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)].
Note: As with posters noted above, this is another exhortation to exam advocates fulfill the First Five Year Plan for industry (1928-1932) in four years. At this early date in Joseph Stalin’s rule, the poster quotes a pronouncement by Stalin at the Sixteenth Party Congress of the All-Russian Communist Party (June-July 1930), but the content still summons the authority of Vladimir Lenin for legitimacy. This would change in the 1930s.
Published by the State Publishing House in Moscow and Leningrad in 1930 in a press run of 20,000, it sold for 20 kopecks. The artist Deni [Viktor N. Deni] signed the lower right quadrant. As noted above, the prodigy of poster art, Deni (Denisov), produced from the early years of the Revolution, but by the 1930s his work was sometimes considered too more concerned with aesthetics and insufficiently didactic.
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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Take a look back at Soviet propaganda in poster form.
From 1929 until 1953, Iosif Stalin's image became a central symbol in Soviet propaganda. Touched up images of an omniscient Stalin appeared everywhere:
Stalin's image became a symbol of Bolshevik values and the personification of a revolutionary new type of society. The persona created for Stalin in propaganda
In the early 1920s, most Soviet propaganda posters showed Lenin and Stalin together. This was deliberate. Stalin weaponised his relationship
During the revolution, posters were sent to the front lines of communist opposition cities with the warning that “anyone who tears down or
Stalin's image became a symbol of Bolshevik values and the personification of a revolutionary new type of society. The persona created for Stalin in propaganda
Polonophobic Soviet propaganda poster, 1920.
Vintage Russian propaganda poster showing Stalin standing before an adoring crowd. "ЛЮБИМЫЙ СТАЛИН-СЧАСТЬЕ НАРОДНОЕ." (Favorite Stalin-People's Happiness.)
Peace, Nature, Sports, Culture, Health, Labour Army, Navy, Cosmonauts Russian Revolution of 1917 & the Russian Civil War Trade, Ads, Foods Lenin, Stalin
Stalin Posters & Prints. USSR CCCP Cold War Soviet Union Propaganda Posters.
Joseph Stalin described Socialist Realism as truthful representation in the